When a man's body is found floating in the ocean, Maura Isles is stunned to discover she knows the victim. He's the older brother of Garrett Fairfield, a man she once dated in college. The Fairfields are billionaire Brahmins, one of the founding families of Boston. Their wealth sets the stage for a major rift between Maura and Jane, who notices that Maura is way too comfortable with these people. Where do Maura's loyalties really lie -- with the investigation, or with the Fairfields? Who is the real Maura Isles?
For the first time, we get a peek at Maura's privileged background. From earlier episodes, we already knew that she went to a French boarding school and attended an Ivy League university. Now it's clear that Maura has always hobnobbed with the upper crust while Jane and Korsak and Frost, with their blue-collar backgrounds, have had to work hard for every penny they've earned. To these hardworking cops, the rich are a different species. "Let's go eat oysters," Maura says. "Sure, as long as they're fried," says Korsak, who's disgusted when he's offered a raw one. In one of the funniest scenes, during a fancy dinner party, Maura tries to teach Jane how to properly use a fish knife. Frustrated, Jane just gives up and stabs the fish. None of this pussy footing around with her food.
Like Jane, I come from a working class background (my dad was a cook, my mom an immigrant), so a lot of this episode struck home for me. I understood Jane's discomfort in the Fairfield family's mansion, her confusion with the fancy silverware, her strong sense that she didn't belong, and was being treated dismissively. The gulf between rich and poor, between working class and leisure class, brings all of Jane's insecurities to the forefront and makes her wonder if Maura is really part of the team. Or if she's just a wealthy dabbler, playing at catching the bad guys for her own amusement.
Best line of the episode? When a male officer challenges Jane's authority, she snaps back: "You wanna have kids?" No contest; he backs down.
As for Jane's mom, Angela, there seems to be trouble on the horizon with her husband. Suddenly she's wearing lipstick and nice clothes. Is the marriage in trouble? Is she seeing someone else?
Stay tuned. I can't wait to find out what happens next.